The war between dogs and cats may as well be over. With an increasing number of crossbreeds between a dog and a cat breaking the headlines, scientists are still not sure what name to call the new friend. The new crossbreed walks in both worlds carrying the physical features of a cat and the friendliness you will find in a man’s best friend that we have all grown to love.
The Gene Factor
The straight answer to this is technically, NO. However, in a lab setting with the right conditions, it is possible. In the natural environment, a cat cannot breed with a dog conventionally. Their incompatibility is due to several numbers of factors with the most obvious being the two animals come from different species.
Theoretically, you can cross the genes of a cat and that of a dog and create a dog with genes of a cat and vice versa. The outcome may not look like what a half cat or half dog but with science anything is possible.
In the conventional sense, you could splice their genes and select specific genes or characteristics that you are looking for and define how your hybrid animal will look like. However, in most cases going through this process may find you on the wrong side of the ethical or moral pedestal. Most scientists may not see the need of carrying out such an experiment because it does not fit or serve any medical purpose. In most cases, scientists who have succeeded in this endeavor are doing so to satisfy their curiosity.
Can a Dog and a Cat Have a Baby?
You may have asked yourself this question more than once. Videos of cats and dogs mating may have influenced you, but the only missing element is an offspring. The mating aspect of the two pets is not impossible, and it only comes out as unnatural.
The two species cannot mate, but there is a possibility they can mate with other breeds of the same species. We will explain further on why they cannot sire offspring.
The mating process in cats and dogs is specific, for example, it is said that more than 50 thousand years ago, carnivores from North America was the ancestors of dogs and cats; it did not take long before the carnivores became extinct. This explains why even if dogs and cats were to have an offspring, chances of survival would be minimal. The explanation for this is the unnatural DNA mix, which comes with a low probability of survival.
The reason why cats and dogs do not mate, points to their physiological differences. The only possible way of enabling mating is through gene manipulation as we have seen above. However, the question remains, is this manipulation really a necessity?
The mating rituals in cats and dogs are unique but show some similarities. They both go on the heat a few times in a year, females can get pregnant only during this period and by one male, the gestation period lasts 66 days and each produce between 4 to 6 puppies or kittens.
The significant difference remains that the two cannot produce an offspring. Cats and dogs do not have a natural or mutual attraction to each other, and their reproductive organs are not designed to fit the other species. The differences seem to matter, and any other characteristics are not natural.
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Here Are Some of the Examples of Mating Between a Dog and a Cat
A hybrid is the result of the mating between species. The hybrids come in different forms such as genetic hybrids, numerical hybrids, permanent hybrids, structural hybrids, and those that define hybrids.
Hybrids may not necessarily be a presentation of entirely different species because today we have breeding of closely related species such as mammals (examples mules and zebroids) bird hybrid, fish hybrid, reptile hybrid among others. Plants also have hybrids that result from a combination of elements of both species, which are clearly visible. For example, a mule is a representation of a horse and a mule.
The most significant hybrid problems are found in their limitations. Hybrids do not allow breeding even when after they mate; this explains why a dog and a cat cannot mate to bear offspring. Hybrid can only be a possibility if the two species share some connectivity. If one species belongs to the subspecies category, then mating is a possibility because genes are not entirely different.
Animals show differences in their psychology, mating rituals and different stages of fertility etc. plants show this through their booming periods, stomatoplastic sterility, and many more. These differences are what make it impossible for some species not to be able to produce offspring.
We all go back to the question can a dog, and a cat have a baby? The issue can further be strengthened by the fact that dogs by engaging in mounting behavior as part of their play as they practice dominance or may due to the excitement. The chances are that cats may also learn the mounting behavior because they find it something quite entertaining.
The final word is that cat and dogs cannot produce an offspring conventionally. The only possible way is through the introduction of genetic modifications. On the other hand, offspring coming from cats and dogs could suffer serious health concerns, which will end up making their life worse than anyone could imagine.
We should also let nature take its course and only correct it if there is a possibility that the outcome will benefit the human race in one way or the other. If hybrids were to take place naturally, then there would be no cause for alarm because that is how nature intended it to happen. Making hybrid cat-dog or dog-cat would go against instincts of both the animals and there would be no gain from such an experiment. The two animals, cats and dogs are beautiful and unique in their own way, what we can do is to appreciate and love them equally.